16-67. To Saga Empire (2)
Satou here. I remember reading the line [International General Practice is to never make a deal with terrorists] from a manga.
Fortunately, I have never been in such a situation, but even if I find myself in one, I'm confident that I won't take the optimal action. I'd love to throw all the responsibility to the bigwigs running the country.
"A demon lord has shown up at Saga Empire's capital!"
"Saga Empire's old capital has been totally engulfed in flames!"
Hikaru and the pilot-uniformed brownie both shouted together.
My fear that [Saga Empire has collapsed] was unfounded, but this is still quite a situation we have here.
"A demon lord and fires in an entire city huh--"
The mastermind probably has initiated their schemes.
"Master, let us take care of the demon lord! We're gonna tear through this super obvious decoy!"
"Satou, I'm going with Arisa and the girls this time. I've asked Ten-chan to protect the royal capital."
Indeed, saving a whole city that has been submerged in flames, and people suffering from burn is more suited for my magic.
The silver members are going to stand by at Solitary Island Palace as a reserve force.
It may be too soon for them to fight a demon lord, but they should be more than a match against a lone greater demon.
"I got it. Take care of that side. Focus on defending if the enemy is tougher than you can handle. I'll rush to you at once."
Besides, Saga Empire has been fighting demon lords for generations, surely they have the personnel, equipment and stuff needed to deal with one.
Though I don't think they could beat a demon lord without a hero, but they should have more than enough facilities and shelters in cases of demon lord invasion.
We were going to immediately sortie out once we had decided on our policy.
Princess Sistina called and stopped me.
"Our opponent has someone who was capable of teleporting Pochi from Seryuu City to Weasel Empire on their side. Perhaps their true objective is to send their main forces to Shiga Kingdom's royal capital and Muno Earldom after luring Satou and others to Saga Empire's capital and old capital?"
"That sounds likely yep. Master, how's plain-chan doing?"
"No problem with her at present."
The plain-faced reincarnated girl, and Tactician Touya has embarked on a journey from a provincial city where they manage an alchemy store to the central small country group.
At first I was wary of them trying to restart their scheme, but videos taken by monitoring drone golems showed the merry-looking plain-faced reincarnated girl gleefully making plans for their honeymoon as tactician Touya reluctantly gave his consent.
However, as the plain-faced reincarnated girl could instantly go anywhere with her teleportation type Unique Skill, the fact that they're showing an act that would alert me like this may be an attempt to divert my attention away from the real thing. The princess and Hikaru seem to agree with my conjecture.
"Is that right... Then, this incident is truly the main event?"
"No, I don't think so."
Normally you'd think they're acting behind the scene to resurrect a demon lord, but if we consider the disposable multiplying demon lord we fought at Parion Holy Land, we can throw away that assumption.
After all, that demon lord was originally a homonculus--an artificially made organism.
There is a possibility of him being a reincarnated person despite being artificially created, but since I didn't sense anything that resembled a will of a reincarnated person from him, he was probably not one.
"Ah geez! Save the arguing for later! Let's deal with the problem first thing first! Tina-sama, please continue to consider all possibilities! Master, please take charge of 『Tactical Talk』. My range can't cover here and Saga Empire altogether."
I activated space magic [Tactical Talk], sent off Arisa and the girls who had changed into their golden armor to the imperial capital, and I myself went to the old capital with Unit Arrangement.
I secretly updated Map of the imperial capital to the latest info behind the girls' back and confirmed that the demon lord that appeared there wouldn't be an opponent Arisa, Hikaru and the girls could not handle.
Since Arisa is connected to me as a familiar, she should inform me if anything unexpected happened.
"These are quite the fires--"
Flames and black smokes are rising from houses to houses, you can't see all of Saga Empire's old capital even from an airship at a high enough altitude.
My Map informs me that about 90% of the survivors has already taken refuge inside underground shelters in the city.
The remaining 10% above ground consist of knights, soldiers and those who were late to escape.
--That said, there are still hundreds of people who need saving.
There's no way I would make it in time by going around saving them with space magic here.
I considered making a copy of the entire city with [Another World] and took everyone into it like I did during the divine punishment at Weasel Empire, but if I do that, the arsonists in the city will also get taken inside along with the populace.
Though it's not without a bit of risk, I'll erase the flames with a fire extinguish magic intended for large scale fires.
"Mass Area <<Extinguish Fire>>--"
After activation of the advanced composite magic, flames that are consuming the entirety of the old capital suddenly disappear, black smokes are also quickly vanishing.
As it's a magic that extinguish fire by taking oxygen away and lowering temperature, I took those whose lives were in danger--though some were already dying due to the fires--using teleport and Flash Drive, and heal them all with healing magic and magic potions.
A rolling flaming monster that looked like a tire jumped over debris and came attacking me.
A slash of light reminiscence of Hero Hayato split the monster in two, right afterward, a Saga Empire knight in jet black armor showed up.
"You look suspicious--no, I remember that figure. I presume you are Shiga Kingdom's Hero Nanashi. I am--"
"Save the introduction, we should deal with the arsonists first."
"You are exactly right. I shall take my leave here."
I search my Map for arsonists after the sensible knight went away.
Most are [Fire Wheels] monsters like the one earlier, but there are big monsters, [Evil Salamanders] and [Flame Hydras] near the castle in the middle of the city and parion temple, and also lesser demons leading Fire Wheels in front of shelters.
I shot several volleys of [<<Multi Javelin>>] and [Remote Arrows] to annihilate all monsters except those that could be defeated by high level imperial knights and temple knights without them losing anyone.
"Phew, this side should be fine now I think?"
I checked on Arisa and the girls' condition with space magic [Clairvoyance].
This demon lord seems to be quite a handful, but they're fighting it off safely. Should be no problem leaving that side to Hikaru and the girls.
Light dots that signify Saga Empire's soldiers are rapidly disappearing.
I went there using sight-based Unit Arrangement.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"What are you doing!"
I blocked the sword skill a knight of Saga Empire unleashed on his own unit with force magic [<<Flexible Shield>>].
"Move out of the way! I have to carry out his majesty's command!"
I wondered whether Saga Emperor issued some stupid order for an instant, but AR readings told me that it wasn't the case.
"He's been Charmed huh--"
I promptly activate mind magic and light magic to undo the charm, releasing the knight from its effect.
Postponing the imperial knight's treatment, I heal other surviving knights with healing magic.
"W-what have I... I saw a nightmare--"
In the middle of his speech, the imperial knight witnessed the spectacle resulted from his action and let out a soul-crushing scream.
As he's being noisy, I knocked him out good with [Calm Field] and [Force Sleep].
Leaving that one alone, I open and check Map.
--It's happening elsewhere too.
I moved there with teleport magic.
As there were several imperial knights and temple knights who got charmed and made to slaughter others, I went around and released them in similar manners.
"Srsly, that's some mad skillz ya got there."
After releasing Charm from temple knights who were cutting up high ranking temple priests in Parion Temple's sanctuary, a small man who's hiding his face in a hood--the goblin demon lord showed himself up from behind a pillar.
"Another 『Avatar』 huh--"
"Well yea 'course. Like I'm gonna show my true self when I got no snowball chance in hell defeating you."
I probe for a mana thread on the avatar that should connect it to the main body.
"It's useless, this 『Avatar』 is an autonomous type--'s what they call, stand alone yeah."
I could only see his mouth, but I know he's making a triumphant face inside the hood.
The reason he went out of his way and showed up here--.
"--A decoy to buy time huh."
"Correctomundo--Whoa there, ain't gonna let ya."
Under the goblin demon lord's feet--a shadow spreads out and covers the entire interior of the sanctuary that's full of holes.
"So report says you even got away from a God Sealing-class Barrier and all, but if ya flee here, I'mma turn everyone inside this shadow all gory and nice, capiche?"
"Yeap, now why dontcha show me the power of magic yer--"
Map Search--a hit.
I marked the area where I got the hit.
Activating space magic [Transport An Object] from my magic list.
"--so proud of... the heck did you do?!"
I ignore the shocked demon lord and strike the floor under my feet with my foot.
The jet black space turned back to its original colors.
Using ninjutsu, I just broke apart the shadow domain this demon lord had spread out.
"Like seriously, I'm no match 'fer ya... finding all humans hidden inside the shadow labyrinth in an instant and rescued 'em all just like that."
The demon lord muttered as if he wanted someone to hear him.
"Well, all preparations' done now tho'--"
The demon lord pointed beyond crumbling sanctuary's wall.
A dazzling light from one of the spires--.
As I clicked my tongue, I jumped to the spire with Flash Drive, knocked out a female-type homonculus holding a magic tool that let out the dazzling light and snatched it away from her.
According to AR readings, it's a bomb-type magic item called [Anti-personnel Magic Bomb] that makes use of lightning and fire gems.
More lights come into my vision one after another.
The other seven spires are emitting similar dazzling lights.
I went around all the spires using sight-based Unit Arrangement, knocked out the homonculi and swiped away their magic items.
--I won't make it.
I couldn't make it in time with the last one, and an explosion occurred at a spire.
I activate force magic [<<Flexible Shield>>] to block all fragments that were shot out of the explosion toward grounds.
Flexible Shields managed to block all the shot fragments that were weaker than I thought.
Though the homonculus who used the magic bomb died in a horrible splatter way and would likely show up in my dream, and roofs and interior of the spire had been pulverized into pieces by the shot fragments.
It's as brutal as a Claymore Mine for an anti-personnel weapon, but not something a demon lord would use as a trap.
"A fake huh--"
Checking on Map, the demon lord has moved to another place.
I swooped down before the demon lord with Flash Drive.
"Oh, yer' here early."
In front of the demon lord--or behind me, is one of shelters where old capital's people have taken refuge.
"Was just thinkin' of destroying this shelter's roof, and replenishing some miasma running short--"
--That must be a fake too.
While focusing on the demon lord's conduct, I use Parallel Thought skill and check on various things on Map.
Homonculi disguised as soldiers are heading toward shelters while carrying magic bombs inside knapsacks.
This one is probably a fake too, but I cannot disregard it.
I produce artificial spirits [Griffon Riders] with spirit magic--.
The moment Griffon Riders appeared from my magic, the goblin demon lord made his move.
He must be gunning for the window period before I could use another spell after activating a spell.
I instruct Griphon Riders to stop the homonculi from carrying out their terror acts, and jump into the shadow where the goblin demon lord disappeared into.
※Next update is planned for 10/14